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Showing posts from July, 2013

If Zen Feels Right

What is Zen? This question is as vast as ten oceans with ten directions, but it starts and ends with exactly where you are. You can arrive by breathing. If you'd like to practice Zen, turn the lights down. If you can sit in full lotus, do it, if not, half-lotus, if not that, then burmese, if not that on your knees. In all of these seats, put a cushion directly under your sit bones, lifting your pelvis above your knees; this is critical. If you can't sit in these positions, get a chair and slide to the edge of it. Firmly plant your feet. If you're on the cushion, firmly plant your knees. Make sure your spine is relaxed, but straight. This is critical. Press the sky with your head, stretch the backbone. Let your eyelids relax, but keep the eyes open, lest you invite dreams and nightmares. Gaze softly downward, a few feet in front of you. Relax the face, like a baby's face. Relax the shoulders and rest your hands on your knees, or place them in the universal mudra, like ho…

To Hoe Is To Be Human

GGF Farm Crew 2013
To say something about hoeing:
attitude of completion rhythem and pace give the plants a little a massage Wield the hoe as precisley as a sword turn up the dark dirt so it looks done stick together, stand up straight, wipe the mirror clean be a giant helping little soldiers it's about taking life and giving life
it's about doing it and then the next thing

Zen Prayer, Faith, Magic and Cosmic Bodhisattvas

I see Manjushri smile when I stay in the zendo during kinhin, instead of sneaking to my room for a sip of coffee. Jizo shakes his shakujo to ward off ghosts, mountain lions, and , my biggest fear, skunks on my dark fog ridden walk to make tea for the abbess in the morning. Ida Sonten stands straight and armored, his eye on the horizon for anyone who might disrupt our way seeking.

Yup, I'm one of those Buddhists, who's chanting like "that" because I think it might help.

Help what? The situation of course! Zen Master Baoche does fan himself, does he not?

I sit because we're Buddha and that's what Buddha's do, even if they don't need to, but because it's a magnet for suffering beings who might benefit from the illusion.

I follow the precepts because they're heavenly all by themselves. When I follow them they help me and all beings equally. Mostly, they save you from me.

On the Reddit Zen forum, I seem to be a minority. Those guys are salty in th…

Zen training: What it is and what it isn't

I've heard it all: Theres no true Zen in America, institutions ruin Zen, priests ruin Zen, There's true Zen at Antaiji, Hermit Zen is where it's at, T-shirt and jeans Zen is enough, just sitting is enough, just reading is enough, just looking at what the Old Men of Zen "said" is enough, robes aren't Zen, sitting isn't Zen, Zazen isn't Zen, Zen in Japan is dead, Zen never existed in India, Zen was invented in China, there are no Zen teachers in china, that teacher is not a true Zen teacher, this lineage is a true Zen lineage, that's not real Zen because you all marry, there is a lot of Zen online, this is real zen from a real awakened teacher, there is no such thing as zen, and that, that is definitely not zen. And ya mama, she ain't Zen.

All of that ribbin' makes me want to take a nap! But it also inspires me to look up during a ceremony; is this Zen we're droning on about through the Dai Hi Shin Darani? Are these black robes helping m…

Can A Man Be A Feminist?

Recently, I commented on one of my favorite blogs, The Feminist Current, which is a pithy and sharp and feminist critique of feminism. Meghan Murphy the main writer is radical while remaining in touch with reality. For example, she once blogged about a club she sometimes visits with her friends and the pictures of objectification that resulted, which everyone seemed to put on their facebook which reifies male-gazing, etc. To the contrary, she admits that sometimes she goes out and has fun, dresses they way she wants, but there's a line crossed when these nights are immortalized through pictures and the internet and substantiates the status quo. I also really liked when she said just because you're a feminist and like Game of Thrones doesn't make Game of Thrones feminist. 

I mistakenly called myself a feminist on Feminism, Writing, and Doing Womanhood Wrong. I say it was a mistake, because really, we're not anything- Buddhist, Feminist, Anarchist. And as soon as we say s…